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Food and agritech

Our expertise is helping to speed up the adoption of precision farming techniques, giving food producers greater control over production and harvesting

Climate change, water shortages and population growth are putting pressure on food production

Today, we are already seeing the devastating impact that climate change is having on agriculture in places such as Africa, where millions of people face the real threat of starvation every single day because of poor harvests. By 2050, the global population is predicted to rise to 9.6 billion, and producing enough food sustainably will be a major challenge. It is a challenge that will be further compounded by land competition for biofuels, carbon sequestration or bio-diversity and by increasing consumer demand for foods that are ethically produced and with added nutritional benefits.

At NPL, we are supporting farming through our work on robotics and sensors, but also looking at global information on climate change and hydration mapping. Our expertise enables us to make sure measurement data is robust and traceable to international standards.

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Our expertise

NPL undertakes focused research and development, as well as providing services and bespoke consultancy in the following areas:

Farmers will need to maximise yields, minimise resources and lower their carbon footprint

We work with farmers and food producers to measure a vast range of factors to reduce environmental impact, lower costs and improve yields. This ranges from greenhouse gas emissions to the mineral content of crops. We work to verify and test new technologies to help farmers identify the best practices to employ.

Food manufacturers work with us to monitor the atmosphere in their factories and ensure processing conditions are correct. Our standards and techniques ensure that measurements are traceable and comply with regulations and standards.

Read an overview of activities of NPL's precision agriculture work in a guest feature article in the IET's Electronics Letters.

Case study

Using AI to convert food waste into sustainable chemicals



Making harvests more efficient through automation



Improving crop yields to feed a growing global population


Our research

Find out how our research impacts the food and agritech industry.

Find out how we can help you

Working with us opens the door to state-of-the-art facilities and over 500 passionate scientists with world-class measurement capabilities.